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Women in Tech Sales: From Sales Rep to Sales Manager

Culture | Posted on July 5, 2019 by Alex Macks

As an organization that strives towards gender balance, Softchoice took part in a recent weeklong boot camp for women in tech sales in partnership with Talent Minded and The Revenue U.

We hosted more than 20 women in our Toronto office for a day of workshops and networking to kick off the week. As part of the event, we had members of our Leading Women employee resource group and share their personal journeys and facilitate a discussion on breaking into a career in tech sales.

I sat down with one of the panelists, Robyn Ross, to get some insight on what it takes to succeed as a woman in tech sales today.

Tell us a bit about your career journey and what you do at Softchoice.

Growing up, I never considered a career in sales. I was always going to be a lawyer. Until my early 20s, that was the plan. After working as a legal assistant for several years, I woke up and had an epiphany. I quit my job and went back to school for Business Marketing. From there, I found my first IT sales role and fell in love with the profession.

I first joined Softchoice as a sales rep. I really enjoyed this experience as well as my teammates. Sales is an individual career, but it was nice to feel supported by my peers. Next, I worked for two years as a development coach supervisor, helping to train and onboard our newest sales reps.  Then, about a year ago, I took on my own sales team.  As a manager, I’ve loved implementing all the team bonding activities I enjoyed as a rep. I get to have fun with it. Hopefully, my team feels the same way I did when I was in their shoes.

What excites you about coming to work every day?

In Sales, I can come into work each day and be my authentic self. I get to work with an amazing team of reps. I also get to talk about cool technology all day long. Learning about how our customers adopt our solutions to make their own organizations and processes more efficient is something I love.

At Softchoice, we strive to live by our values every day. In your role, how do you see these values come to life?

As a manager, it’s important to be open and genuine with your team. It’s not enough just to care about their plan attainment or performance. We talk about their personal lives, goals and life ambitions.

We are a team and my reps need to know I support them in all walks of life, not just at the office.

If you had one piece of advice for a woman starting their career in tech sales, what would it be and why? What did you wish you knew when you started?

IT has historically been dominated by men. At first, I thought I had to blend in and go with the crowd to earn credibility. I wish I had known that it’s OK to stand out.  Having a fresh perspective and the confidence to execute goes a long way.

Secondly, find a mentor! Formal or informal, having someone you can bounce ideas off of is invaluable. I am lucky to have several mentors here at Softchoice. They offer different perspectives and force me to think critically.  I value their opinion and having another perspective, especially when it comes from someone more experienced, means I can make more informed decisions.

Learn more about how Softchoice promotes diversity and inclusion in the workplace!

Interested in joining a community of professionals making an impact every single day? Visit our Careers at Softchoice page to find exciting career opportunities across North America at Softchoice.

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